Uncontrollable Popups

Hi Everyone:

        I have a friend who is getting bombarded by uncontrollable popups which are basically ads for loosing weight, using anti-spyware to remove malicious programs, etc.  We have used various anti-spyware utilities, but, still have this problem.  Is there some type of popup utility which is highly effective in blocking unwanted popups and comes with good reviews?  If so, can someone provide a link to it?

       Thank you.

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both the latest versions of IE and mozilla have pop-up blockers built in them that can be enabled. Have you checked to see if his computer has the latest browser?
what O.S. is he running (by the way)?
Hi GMartin,
Yes, the latest windows updates enable this feature in IE. It still sounds as if you have spyware, have you tried Ad-Aware with the latest definitions? A decent third party tool is Pop-up Stopper: http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,8060,00.asp 

Also, there is a site which tests the effectiveness of a pop-up blocker:

Though, if you have not tried the Ad-Aware, I would try that first as if you are getting that many pop-ups it sounds like a program on the local computer.
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi There:

        Thanks for the followups.  The OS by the way is XP Home Edition.  With respect to the latest version of IE, can someone provide a link to that?  And, secondly, will the defaults of the latest browswer automatically block popups or will it need to be configured by the user?

        By the way, I have not tried Ad-Aware yet.  I will give it a try and see what happens.


Well, I think Ad-Aware just might solve your problem. As for the pop-up blocking within IE, do you have SP2 installed? Info is here:

Like most people said
1.) Try the new Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition 1.05

Ensure that the latest definition files or you can get it here.

Update it and run it in XP Safe Mode for best effect.

2.) Goto Windows Update and update the available Security Updates...
If you wish, you may want to upgrade to XP Service Pack 2, but ensure
that you system is working fine first before the upgrade. Because it might
create more problems instead of solving it.

3.) Good Luck...;-)
Another solution is just install some popup killer kinda application (that is if the popups occuring as soon as the user operates IE):

Windows XP SP2 is a good call made by NetworkArchitek and shahrial.

Adware does a subpar job.  Here is what i would suggest:

1.  Depending on what OS you are running, clear your startup apps, for example, in windows xp you could goto start > run > type msconfig, now hit enter.  Click the startup tab and uncheck everything that is unknown from starting up.

2.  Get the latest windows updates: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com -- Only download the Critical Updates.  You may have to return to the site a few times to make sure you get them all, as microsoft must install some updates to be able to be able to install others.

Note:  If your running windows xp, consider getting Service Pack 2, as it has added features to prevent adware/spyware.

3.  Goto http://www.spychecker.com.  Click on Anti-Spyware tools.  Download Hyjackthis, and also download Spysweeper trial version.  Run hyjackthis, and either check the registry entries that don't belong, or have someone who is knowledgable about the registry do this, follwing by Fixing the selected entries (deleting them).  

Free solution:  Download spybot S & D from spychecker.com, and also spyware blaster.  Run them together, as they are a good freeware solution for preventing spyware.

4.  Install and run spyswpeeper.  From personal experience I have seen Spysweeper pick up more spyware, traces than any other anti-spyware software.  This is only a trial version, however.  

5.  Use an alternative browser, such as Firefox, which can be downloaded at http://www.mozilla.com.  Firefox will block popup's and adware by default.

Note:  I recommended more than you asked for, but i feel it is a multi-step process getting rid of spyware.

Read over this EE thread that discusses this topic:


I usually have to use a combination of several programs to clean a machine up. Personally, I use AdAware then I run Spybot Search and Destory and if those 2 didn't fix it, then I run HiJackThis. http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/downloads.html

Make sure you run everything in safe mode and normal mode. Make sure adaware and spybot are up to date before running. Also turn off system restore before running. If you run HiJackthis then post the log at the following site. Before deleting anything, research the entires and make sure they really should be deleted.


Sounds like the system is overtaken with spyware so I would worry about cleaning it up instead of just trying to block the ads....spyware poses a huge security risk and slows down the system and should be fixed. Also, if you plan on installing  SP2, it is a high recommendation that you make sure the system is completely clean form all malware before installing SP2.
Sometimes the operating system, in this case, XP Home can be so infested/derteriorated with spyware, that you may need to do an inplace upgrade.  This can be done by booting from the windows xp home cd-rom, and selecting "To setup Windows Xp now, press enter."  Dont choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console press  R."  Accept the agreement, then select xp installation you want to install, then press R.  Once the in place upgrade is complete, make sure to ICF is turned on before you get online, then get online and run all the nessasary xp critical updates.
Hello George =)

Yes u must have run all the spyware\adware removal tools first to make sure that nothing junks are present on ur system :)
Then there is a little nice program to stops popup adds >> http://www.southbaypc.com/NoAds/
personally i use Pop up Blocker 6.0.3, it has the option to add addresses of websites which we want to block, so we can allow what we want and can disallow what we dont need.... atleast i like it :)
If u are interested u can download from here >> http://www.synergeticsoft.com/downloads.php

Good Luck :)
I would advise you just like luv2smile : don't simple block popups but get rid of the adwares coz they dont only send ads, they consume memory, CPU, net bandwidth,... Multiple ad/spy-wares installed on a computer can dramatically slow down everything.

Don't trust any single ad/spy-ware removal tool. Even if some are really greats, no one may remove ALL.

DL and run Ad-Aware and Spybot Search&Destroy. Be carefull to download them from a trusted site like download.com or tucows. Many adware programs fake the name of real adware removal program (especially Spybot S&D) so that when you think you install a removal tool, you in fact install a adware program.
  u have an entry in ur registry that causes the same pop-ups to pop-up. u need run HJT and post the log so that i can tell u what to fix.
Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security OfficerIT Consultant, Network Engineer, Windows Network Administrator, VMware AdministratorCommented:
I use PopUPCop and it works like a champ
You might try Proxomitron, http://www.proxomitron.info/. Its not developed anymore, but it has powerful filters and you can make your own if you want. It works by creating a local proxy in your computer, and filters/rewrites the HTML-code as you download it. An advanced "search and replace engine on the fly" really. Works like a charm...
Most broswers cannot fully block popups.  I recommend that you have him purchase the full version of Adaware SE Professional.  It's 40 bucks, but well worth it. It has a live interface that shows it blocking pop ups and registry attempts in realtime.

Here's the website.


try this, it worked for me. I have ZERO popups and can turn it off and on as I like from my Internet Explorer tool bar at the top. Works great.
This is another way to block another type of Pop-ups besides those one related to IE.

Tell him to go to Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Services .
Check if the "Messenger" service is running. If it is, tell him to right clik on it, "Properties" and set up the startup type to "Disabled", STOP the service and click OK.  This won't affect the normal operation of the computer, and he might stop receiving those popups.

GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

         First, I want to apologize for the delay in responding back to this post.  My friend and I have been experiencing scheduling conflicts all week, so, I have not been back over there yet.  However, I will be going over there tomorrow night to tryin out the suggestions posted.  Upon my return, I will provide the results of everything tried along with proper closure to this post.  

         I want to add how impressed I am with the caliber of responses.  Each proposed answer certainly reflects well thought out strageties for dealing with the popups.  I certainly look forwarding to trying everything out tomorrow night.

        Once again, thanks so much.

welcome back George.... nice to listen from u :)
Good luck for ur tomorrow adventures ^_^
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi There

        Thank you.... I look forward to going over there to help.

Something that I did not see mentioned (at least when I was making this post):

What you also may want to try is installing Google Toolbar or Yahoo Toolbar if you are using IE. They have built-in popup blockers and they are free. Links bellow:

Google: http://toolbar.google.com/
Yahoo: http://toolbar.yahoo.com/

Pretty simple. :)

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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

       I want to take a moment and give everyone the heads up on this situation.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get with him over the weekend due to various circumstances.  However, I have arranged to go over there Friday night to try out the recommeded suggestions.  I must confess there are some really "great" ideas here.  Every person's suggestion certainly sheds light on methods of controlling the common internet mennace of popups.  

        Once again, I express my sincere gratitude to each and every expert on EE.  Collectively, you have always seen me through on technical challenges with my computer as well as others.

         I will touch back on this post within a few days.  In the meantime, if anyone should have further suggestions. they certainly will be welcomed.

RohnishIT EngineerCommented:
Yea... try google toolbar..

If everything else mentioned above don't work.. Clear all the internet cache, cookies and run a decent antispyware program like Giant antispyware.. keep away from adaware (or read the agreement before clicking,, I AGREE)

otherwise just tell em that he's really fat and you'll sort the pc out when he's lost a cfew stones.
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

         The problem with popups is now resolved.  Not only did I have to use a variety of utiilties like AdAware Professional 6.0, SpyBot S & D, and SpySweeper, but, I had to go to toolbar.google.com to block popups which were still trying to appear.  In any case, the previously mentioned utilities used in conjunction with the browswer integrated software made available from toolbar.google.com suppressed the popups.  

           Thanks again everyone for the tips and suggestions.  They were certainly instrumental in resolving this issue.

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